Hamburg celebrated its 824th Port Anniversary this past weekend, with over 1.5 million people visited the world’s largest port festival hold along the harbour front. The cruise industry also used the Elbe River as its catwalk and showed stage during the port anniversary festival.

Highlights such as the official christening of the “MS Europa 2”; the rocking final of TUI Cruises’ “Full Metal Cruise”; the AIDA firework display and the arrival of a total of thirteen cruise ships in the Port of Hamburg made the Hanseatic city North Germany’s cruise hot spot last weekend.
Hamburg. A particular highlight this year was the christening of the new “MS Europa 2” on the Elbe River off Hamburg’s prestigious “Blankenese” district on Friday evening. The ship was greeted with a firework display before embarking on its maiden voyage to Amsterdam followed by a cruise around Western Europe.

Ships such as Germany’s famous TV liner the “MS Deutschland”; queen of the seas the “Queen Mary 2”; the “MS Astor”; the “MS Artania”, the “Fram”, the “MS Hamburg”; the “MSC Magnifica”, which played a birthday song with the ships’ horn and, of course, AIDA’s “AIDAsol” and “AIDAluna” transformed the Port of Hamburg into a maritime catwalk. In addition to this, on Saturday evening the “Mein Schiff 1” rocked the port while the finale of TUI CRUISES’ “Full Metal Cruise”, organised in conjunction with the “Wacken” heavy metal festival, reached the Port of Hamburg.

To mark the visit of thirteen cruise ships at this year’s HAMBURG PORT ANNIVERSARY the Hamburg Cruise Center association (HCC) arranged a tombola and animated children to do handicraft works, supporting the concept of sustainability with regard to both people and the environment. High quality, sustainable framework conditions are one of the focuses of the cruise industry. The increasing demand for such conditions comes in conjunction with the growth of the cruise industry in Hamburg.

The large tombola made possible by cooperation with a number of association members, such as Stage Entertainment, Hapag-Lloyd Kreuzfahrten GmbH, Hamburg Airport GmbH, MSC Kreuzfahrten, Hard Rock Cafe Hamburg and Cunard Line and many more. The proceeds of the tombola event will be donated directly to the seamen’s mission. The seamen’s mission, whose activities are based on “support of seafarer’s dignity”, provides seamen who spend many months at sea with counselling and a point of contact in a foreign country.

Ships are going green. Taking its cue from the cruise industry’s most recent activities and studies on environmental sustainability, the HCC offered handicrafts activities. The crafting items on offer have been recyclable objects and materials discarded by companies and households. Young visitors have been able to take their inspiration from the materials on offer to design their own personal “green” ship.

The Hanseatic city is in greater demand than ever by cruise lines and their guests. The 2013 cruise season will see a total of 177 ship’s calls and half a million passengers in Hamburg. The Port of Hamburg will thus again be the most frequented German Turn Around Port.